- Pochettino greets fans as he arrives at Manchester airport on Thursday
- The Argentine manager makes his way back to Paris with his PSG squad
- Pochettino signs autographs for fans at the airport before boarding his flight
- After PSG were beaten by Man City, it was an unsuccessful trip to the North West
- Former Spurs boss has been linked with vacant managerial role at Man United
Mauricio Pochettino greets fans and signs autographs as he and his PSG team arrive at Manchester airport for their flight back to Paris on Thursday morning.
The Argentine boss went out of his way to hand out his signings to supporters in the departure lounge as he cheered despite seeing his side take a one-goal lead before their 2-1 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League.
The 49-year-old smiled for several fans and photographers who were there to greet him, while other members of the PSG squad did not look as happy.
Mauricio Pochettino (right) greets fans as he arrives at Manchester airport on Thursday
PSG boss signs autographs for fans as he makes his way to the departure lounge
Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar cut tired and dismayed figures as they made their way through the departure lounge at the airport on Thursday morning.
Opener Mbappe scored at the Etihad but PSG’s ridiculous front-three could not deter his team from defeat in Manchester.
Raheem Sterling turned into a City equalizer at the backpost in the second half before Gabriel Jesus finished a fine passing move to hand all three points to Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad.
Pochettino’s disappointing return to England has been linked to a vacant managerial role at Manchester United, with the Red Devils continuing their search for a successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The former Tottenham boss is wanted by United and is also said to be open to the idea of switching to Old Trafford mid-season after becoming untenable in the French capital.
Neymar (left) and Kylian Mbappe (right) arrive from Manchester airport and make their way
Lionel Messi (left) and Leandro Paredes (right) make their way to their flight to Paris
Pochettino was excited as he arrived at the airport, refusing to blame his side’s 2-1 defeat on speculation about his future.
“The players know our position very well,” Pochettino said.
‘We know their position. We live in a business that has rumours, sometimes negative and sometimes positive. It’s not a matter of talking – rumours.’
Pochettino is one of United’s favorites for the job but could struggle to award him the prize for PSG’s intention to keep him away from the Parc des Princes. There are indications that PSG will be reluctant to let Argentina go mid-season and disrupt their campaign.
Pochettino is known to be interested in the position and was also happy to sign United Shirts on Wednesday at The Lowry Hotel, where PSG were staying before their clash with City.
(left to right) Messi, Mbappe and Neymar cut disappointing figures in 2-1 loss to City
United will now focus on strategy after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked over the weekend, and will intensify the search for an interim manager to take over from caretaker Michael Carrick. He led them in a 2-0 win over Villarreal in the Champions League last 16 knockout stage on Tuesday night.
Former Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and former Lyon coach Rudy García have already held talks with United’s football director John Muerto. Garcia said: ‘I will not say anything on the subject. I neither confirm nor deny.
Lokomotiv Moscow’s sports and development chief, Ralph Rangnik, former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre and former Roma boss Paulo Fonseca are among other names attached to the temporary role.
But sources in Germany said on Wednesday night that Rangnik is calm on the idea of a short-term term.
Pochettino has been linked with vacant managerial role at Manchester United
Pochettino refuses to blame his side’s defeat on speculation about his future
Although committing to two separate managerial appointments is a peculiar strategy, the Old Trafford hierarchy are said to be satisfied that an interim would provide stability and momentum while giving them the freedom to install a permanent replacement at the end of the season.
It also shows that United know their favorite target won’t be available until the summer – be it Pochettino or someone else.
Ideally, he would have kept Solskjaer in charge until then, but United’s alarming fall forced the club to change plans.
While the hunt for an interim continues, Michael Carrick is set to remain in charge for Sunday’s visit to Chelsea after winning against Villarreal with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.